The Royals’ season is on hiatus for a few days and Missouri is gearing up its third SEC campaign.
So, it’s a good time to catch up with reliever Aaron Crow, who was inducted into the University of Missouri Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame on Feb. 15.
Crow set the Tigers’ single-season record with 13 wins in 2008. He also won the Roger Clemens Award as the nation’s top pitcher and won Big 12 pitcher of the year honors after going 13-0 with a 2.35 ERA.
Crow’s 127 strikeouts that season rank third in program history.
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For his career, Crow still ranks in Missouri’s top 10 for wins (eighth, 23), innings pitched (sixth, 302 2/3) and strikeouts (fourth, 277).
He went 23-8 with a 3.27 ERA in three seasons with the Tigers before the Royals selected him 12th in the first round of the 2009 draft.
Crow, a native of Topeka, talked to The Star about the significance of his Hall of Fame induction among other topics:
Question: What did it mean for you to be inducted in Mizzou’s Hall of Fame last winter?
Crow: It was awesome. I remember a few years ago when (former Missouri teammate and current Detroit ace) Max (Scherzer) got inducted and I thought it was pretty cool for him. I wondered if I’d get a shot or I’d be one of the guys who gets inducted to it.
It was Christmas Eve, or it might have even been Christmas morning, (Missouri athletic director) Mike Alden called me and told me. I couldn’t have been more thrilled. It kind of made the holiday for me. It was real exciting when I found out.
Q: How much do you pay attention to the current Missouri baseball team?
Crow: I follow them. The last couple years have been rough, but it’s cool to see some individual guys, like Brett Graves, still have some success and have an opportunity to keep playing. I’m happy for him. I met him once or twice, so I’m happy for him and hopefully he finds some success at that level too.
Q: How much would you have liked to play in the SEC with its baseball reputation?
Crow: I think it would have been fun. When I was playing, it was looked at as the best baseball conference and today it probably still is. The challenge would have been fun to see if you could do the same things you did in the Big 12 in the SEC. It would have been a fun challenge.
Q: I know you follow all Missouri sports, so what are your thoughts on the Kim Anderson hire?
Crow: I think it’s great from the people I’ve talked to. It’s great for Mizzou, because he seems like a really good coach and he wants to be there at the same time. That’s one of the most important things. The last couple coaches they’ve had, it seemed like a stop to where they really wanted to be. It seems like Kim Anderson really wants to be there, so hopefully it works out and they start playing like they did a few years ago when they won 30 games.
Q: Do you still get a hard time from friends about going to Mizzou?
Crow: At first, when I decided to go to Mizzou over KU, I got a lot. But really not anymore. The big thing now is that my sister went to KU and graduated from KU, so there’s a little rivalry between her and I. Besides that, it’s in the past, but there’s still some back-and-forth with some friends that I have here.